LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech senior cross country runner Kennedy Kithuka was named the Mountain Region Male Athlete of the Year Tuesday as announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Kithuka has now won the Mountain Region Athlete of the Year award in back-to-back seasons and is the first athlete to do so since 2010.
Kithuka finished first overall at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship meet last weekend crossing the finish line with a time of 29 minutes 23.6 seconds – 16 seconds ahead of the closest competition. He enters Saturday’s NCAA Championship meet unblemished in seven races this season and undefeated in 14-straight races dating back to his 2012 NCAA Cross Country debut.
The Thika, Kenya native will look to become the first back-to-back men’s NCAA Division I Cross Country Champion since 2010 and just the 10th all-time. Earlier in the season, he became the first men’s back-to-back Big 12 Champion since 2005 with a victory at the conference meet on Nov. 2.
In 2012, he won the NCAA Championship with a time of 28:31.3 – the fastest 10k time at an NCAA Championship in more than 30 years.
The NCAA Cross Country Championship is set for Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.